Bacardi lines up shot of Patron, buying all of tequila maker

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Bacardi, known for Grey Goose vodka and its namesake rum, has held a minority stake in Patron since 2008.

The acquisition deal with Bacardi paved the way to tequila's status as the primary product in the global market for spirits.

According to recent data by research firm IWSR, the Patron deal makes Bacardi the top spirits maker in the so-called super-premium segment of the United States market and the second largest spirits company in the market by value. The deal is expected to close in the first half of this year. The executive, who is poised to take the reins on 1 April, plans to boost sales by getting overseas consumers to trade up from local spirits.

Bacardi, which is privately owned, is a sprawling family business based in Bermuda.

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Alcohol giant Bacardi has said it will buy tequila maker Patron, as demand grows for high-end versions of the spirit around the world.

Bacardi will tap debt markets to help finance the deal, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Agave-based beverages, which include tequila and mezcal, have seen sales accelerate over the past decade.

In total, tequila sales have climbed by an average of 6 percent each year since 2002, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

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It would also make Bacardi the second-biggest liquor company in the US, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, the industry group.

Patron's current top executives will remain in place, and co-founder John Paul DeJoria will become chairman emeritus and focus on philanthropy.

The deal comes days after Pernod Ricard bought out Avion Tequila and months after Diageo bought George Clooney's Casamigos tequila for up to $1-billion.

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